There are so many things to love about summertime, beginning with the colorful bounty of fresh, sun-ripened fruits and vegetables available at our local produce markets. There’s nothing quite like fresh corn-on-the-cob and juicy, just-picked peaches to remind us just how tasty summer can be. If you’re not already buying in-season fruits and vegetables, summer is a good time to kick-start this healthy and delicious approach to eating. Why? The reasons are plentiful! For starters:
When you purchase fruits and veggies harvested at their peak ripeness, they not only taste better, but you’re getting them at their nutritional peak, too. Greens with a vivid hue (no yellow edges!) and deep- red tomatoes (skip the pink ones!) send visual signals indicating their optimal nutrient values.
It’s Better for the Environment
If you live in the northern hemisphere and are buying avocados or mangoes in January, odds are good they were shipped from far, far away. Eating what’s in season where you live reduces the number of miles your food has to travel, which means a lighter carbon footprint.
In autumn, farmers’ markets are flooded with apples, and summertime means a bounty of peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. In-season foods require less time and fewer resources to grow, and competition in the marketplace translates to lower costs for the consumer.
The best way to get a handle on what’s in season near you is to head to your local farmers’ market and see what’s available. Talk to your producers and don’t be afraid to ask questions! When in doubt, refer to this list to get you started on the road to seasonal eating.
Stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots)
The recipe for a happy life, according to Aurelia d’Andrea, calls for one part great food, one part travel adventure, and two parts companionship (human and animal, in equal measure). She’s living out her kitchen-inspired credo in San Francisco and Paris, France.